Police chief speaks to Hispanic congregation about new law

Much confusion surrounds the state’s new illegal immigration policy.

Judges have postponed implementation of some parts of the law, police officers are unsure how enforcement will affect them, and both citizens and non-citizens are worried about what the policy will mean for them.

Though he has questions of his own, Clanton Police Chief Brian Stilwell spoke to Clanton First United Methodist Church San Juan’s Mission about the law.

“With any new law, there is always a lot of misinformation out there,” Stilwell said. “I want to ensure that all citizens know that if it is determined that an employee of the Clanton Police Department is abusing his sworn authority that the officer will be sanctioned in accordance with all laws and policies.”

San Juan Mission is a ministry of CFUMC that has a congregation of about 100 people, about 90 percent of which are Hispanic, according to Pastor German Gomez.

Gomez said Stilwell helped ease concerns that the new law would give police officers authority to check the citizenship of anyone based simply on race or national origin.

Stilwell explained that the law contains a provision that strictly prohibits law enforcement from “racial profiling” but said that “if a person is stopped lawfully, detained or arrested, a law enforcement officer must make a reasonable effort to check the status of all people.”

One churchgoer told of a Hispanic woman who was robbed in the Walmart parking lot but did not contact police regarding the incident for fear that she would have been arrested for being here illegally.

Stilwell assured the congregation that if they witness a crime or become a victim that they would not be prosecuted under the new law. Under Section 21 of the law, there is a stay issued for any person who is a victim or witness of a crime.

“Some of our people were afraid,” Gomez said. “We have more peace after he left.”

Jemison

Mazingo awarded prestigious Rising Star scholarship 

Clanton

2024 Blast From the Past scholarship recipients announced

Clanton

Blast From the Past donates to CMS choir

Maplesville

Barnett completes first hours of executive law enforcement program  

Jemison

Davis, Jemison fielding track team next spring

News

Thorsby Book Blast provides books for students at home

Clanton

Scruggs enshrined at CCHS with new class hall

Maplesville

Suspect in custody following Maplesville break in

Clanton

Leadership Chilton course graduates first class

Business

Main Street in Jemison revitalized following improvements

Clanton

Four CCS bus drivers make final routes in Chilton

Clanton

No life-threatening injuries following fiery boat incident on Lake Mitchell

Clanton

Three Chilton offenders granted parole during May 14-16 hearings

Chilton County High School

Elmore signs with Enterprise State for soccer

News

Thorsby secures CAWACO RC&D grant for Richard Wood Park

News

Thorsby FFA sends four teams to state competition

Jemison

Students of the month for May named at Jemison High School

Clanton

LeCroy hosts state welding competition on its campus

Jemison

Living Waters Mission Home opens in Jemison

Clanton

Girl Scouts create Pet Pantry for Chilton community

Clanton

Column: Coming together for a common cause on Lake Mitchell

News

Why not us? — Thorsby takes runners-up in 2A state softball tournament

Clanton

Powers elected to significant national Republican Party roles

Business

McSweeney Chevy GMC opens doors, holds grand opening in Clanton